Imagine my delight when I opened up the L.A. Times (okay, actually like most people I looked at it digitally online) to find an article announcing that today is World Whiskey Day. Oh happy day! Since our trip last year to Kentucky, I've developed a love for a subset of Whiskey, Bourbon. I guess I'm not alone in my newly acquired taste as it seems that Bourbon is experiencing some what of a resurgence in popularity lately.
Here's something that you may not know, all Bourbon is Whiskey, but not all Whiskey meets the criteria of being Bourbon. In order for a spirit to earn the official title of Bourbon it must be made in the United States, it must be made from 51% corn, and it must be aged in new charred oak barrels, such as the ones featured below (courtesy of our trip to the Heaven Hill distillery).
During our trip through the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky we only made it to two distilleries: the Heaven Hill distillery and Maker's Mark. The most scenic of the distilleries on the trail is, hands down, Maker's Mark so we made sure to fit it into our schedule.
We went to Maker's Mark in the morning, right before picking William from the litter in Bardstown, Kentucky. Unfortunately the following pictures were taken with a disposable camera, as our card was filled up, so the quality might leave something to be desired. The last picture features workers on the assembly line adding Maker's Mark's signature touch, the red wax coating on the neck of the bottle.
The Holy Grail of Bourbon, is the elusive Pappy Van Winkle. You can't find this stuff anywhere and if you do, it's about 4 times the retail price. The reason for this is that, as the bottle suggests, it takes a long time to age this Bourbon and they didn't foresee the boom in Bourbon sales which is currently taking place.
Did you know that William's full name was inspired by this brand of Bourbon? My husband and I were lucky enough to find a bar in Kentucky that had Pappy Van Winkle on the menu. When we ordered it we joked about naming our new puppy after good old Pappy. Later, we decided on Colonel Willilam Van Winkle the Bard of Bardstown. It's quite the mouthful! It's like tying a big tail on a little kite (or puppy).
Below is one way I'll be celebrating World Whiskey Day, with a refreshing Mint Julep. This picture was taken from Derby Day a couple weeks ago. Cheers!